Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) applauds IOL for publishing “Howick High pupil brings steam train back to glory” (13/04/2019), an article that positively portrays the child involved and accesses her.

This inspiring story by Duncan Guy is about a 17-year-old girl from Durban that seems to have contributed to changing the face of what society perceives as a man’s job. This is a positive outlook on the child who, according to the story, restores steam locomotives as a way to earn “the Springbok level status as a scout”. Hannah is a scout in the First Hilton Scout Group. A photograph taking up almost half of the page of a smiling Hannah posing in the locomotive she restored accompanies the article.

This piece makes us glad[1] of the fact that the journalist reports it well and takes the child’s rights into consideration. It accesses the child involved thereby enriching the story with her personal views and thoughts. By accessing the child, the journalist adheres to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)[2] which South Africa ratified in 1995. Articles 12 and 13 of the UNCRC supports children’s rights to be heard and for these views to be respected.

IOL has given this child the platform to showcase her talents and this might contribute to Hannah being viewed in a positive light in her community. For this, MMA commends IOL and encourages them to keep accessing children and putting them in the spotlight for the good work they are doing in their communities and beyond.

Bantse Pelle


[1] A GLAD is awarded when journalists report positively on a child and respect the rights of that child



The following the journalist’s response to the commentary;

Thank you for this.
“Being proactive and yet not boastful is a brilliant attribute, which I saw in Hannah
“She is clearly someone who just gets on with a job that needs to be done while keeping her goals in mind. One hopes that reporting on such people in the media gives inspiration to others, especially the young who still have most of their life ahead of them and are faced with choices of whether to steer their future in a negative or a positive direction.”